Orchid bark is an epiphyte's FAVOURITE amendment. This age old material has been used by orchid growers since their inception into the hobby. Though they were large mounted pieces back then, the shredded version is a best friend amongst Aroid lovers and orchid parents alike!
Bark offers a fantastic, high surface area for fleshy roots to attach to. Unlike traditionally mounted practices, having it as an amendment in a potting mix means more bang for the roots buck - as those surfaces become hot spots for positive microbes and come with pre-made indentations for roots to slip comfortably into. This is for plants that don't necessarily use their roots for nutrients, like Bromeliads, it provides a crucial contact point for support, comfort and then growth.
Using orchid bark will also help to lower pH levels in a soil mix. If you have a neutral base and would like to lower it organically, just add some bark. Let’s not forget bark also dramatically increases drainage within a blend. So if your plants prefer chunky, airy mixes - this component is definitely a go to. But don't just use bark for epiphytic plants, terrestrial plants can be just as thankful for the opportunity to form symbiotic relationships with the bark as it slowly breaks down.
Pro Tip: Bark is a brilliant medium for inoculated mycorrhiza! The slightly acidity balance is the perfect colonisation ground for them to aid your plants with up-taking macro nutrients and out competing bad fungi!
- Dramatically increases drainage
- Helps to lower pH levels
- An Epiphytes ideal component